June 11, 2013
Path ahead for Whakarewarewa
A Ngāti Wahiao trustee says it's time to move on now that an arbitration panel has ruled on the ownership of the Whakarewarewa Valley Lands.
The panel said the block, which includes Te Roto ā Tamaheke, Whakarewarewa Thermal Springs and Southern Arikikapakapa Reserves, will be shared evenly between Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Wahiao, ruling out a separate share for Tuhourangi.
Parts of the land are leased to Rotorua tourist attraction Te Puia.
Warwick Morehu says Ngāti Wahiao have always been the people of Whakarewarewa.
"The name was given to the valley by Ngāti Wahiao. It is short for Te Whakarewarewatanga te ope taua ō Wahiao, the leaping up of Wahiao war party in battle training. Historical records confirm Ngāti Wahiao had a continuing relationship with the valley and the village there as far back as can be remembered, so we are happy with the 50:50, we have to be happy with that, that is what the arbitration panel set down so we need to respect that decision and try to move on," he says.
Mr Morehu says all members of Ngāti Wahiao are Tuhourangi, but not all Tuhourangi are Ngāti Wahiao.
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